IT’S YOUR MONEY
July 1st brings the new fiscal year and the due date for payment of your annual assessment to PGA POA. On June 1st we will mail the assessment notice along with the budget and footnotes. Please take a look at the footnotes; they explain, line by line, what your assessment is used for.
As this article is being written, we are finalizing the budget. It looks like there will be some increases in legal and insurance line items. There will be reductions in the equipment rental line item due to renegotiating the postage meter rental and other related office equipment.
One nice change will be the ability to sign up to have funds for the POA assessment automatically deducted from your account. A form will be sent with the assessment notice which you will need to complete and return to accomplish this, so as I started by saying, be sure to carefully review the documents we send in the large flat envelope from PGA POA marked “assessment notice – payment coupon enclosed – payment due immediately”.
When I was a small child, I learned that I should ask before demanding because despite what those attorneys on TV tell me, I am not “entitled” to anything. I learned to play nice and share, and I learned the art of communication and that something can’t be fixed if no one is aware of the problem. People call the POA for the strangest things and I keep saying I’m going to write a book. Unfortunately, important things such as an area that needs repair sometimes isn’t reported. There may be an assumption that someone else called or certainly the POA is aware. Keep in mind there are only four employees at the POA and only two who are out in the community periodically. While the POA isn’t responsible for, and can’t help much with problems within the neighborhoods, if you see something that needs attention please take the time to report it. If it is in your community, call your management company (don’t tell the landscaper or a board member because the problem may not get back to those who can address it.) If there is a problem with sprinklers or a light out along the main roadways, or a problem in the parks, call the POA.
Every April I try to remind owners that it is alligator mating season followed by nesting. It is now May so you should be very cautious. The first rule (with gators and ALL animals) is DON’T FEED THEM and stay away from them. Keep in mind that all the water bodies in PGA are connected and eventually connect to the preserve area in the western perimeter so if you see an alligator today you might not see it again. If you are concerned or the gator is aggressive, you can call the alligator hotline yourself at 866-392-4286 or call the POA and we will call the hotline. Gators are no longer relocated – they are “harvested” (killed).
In addition spring is also the time when snakes are active. There are only a few poisonous snakes in this area. Among them is the well-known rattle snake, water moccasin and the coral snake. I am a native of Florida and the daughter of a biologist who learned at a young age to recognize all kinds of flora, fauna and “critters” but I would never want to get close enough to figure out, for example, whether that pretty orange and black striped snake is a King snake (non-poisonous) or a Coral snake (poisonous). The safest policy is to watch where you are going and stay out of their way. Common sense is the best policy: if you are going walking use proper shoes; if you are working in the garden don’t stick your hands – or feet – under bushes (especially selloums, palmetto plants or other leafy cover). There is no snake trapping agency so just use caution and if you are bit, call 911 immediately.
The other “critters” such as foxes, opossum, armadillo, and even bobcats come out primarily at night. The same rule applies with these critters as with the two legged animals that can cause problems: be aware of your surroundings and use caution.
To our snow bird friends who are going away for the hot summer months, remember to make arrangements for someone to secure your home in case of a storm. Only accordion shutters or clear panels are allowed to be installed/closed during the hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). If you use fabric panels, plywood or plain metal panels, they can only be installed at the issuance of a hurricane warning. In addition to storm concerns, don’t forget to discontinue the newspaper and please forward your mail. A bunch of papers or accumulating mail is a sure sign that no one is home and those two-legged critters I referred to earlier look for these clues to break into homes. Be sure your windows and doors are closed and locked – you would be surprised to find out how many people go away and leave the bathroom window partially open! Set your air-conditioning at 80-85 degrees to keep mildew from forming and be sure to dispose of perishables, especially in the refrigerator. It is amazing what refrigerated items turn into after a few months and if the power goes out…..well, let’s not think about that!
I do tend to go on and on! I could have saved you a bunch of reading by summing up this article in three terms: Pay your bill; be nice to others; and stay safe. Oh, and have a wonderful summer!